Could saint candidate be a miracle for UP tourism?

Capital News Service

LANSING — On a hill overlooking U.S. 41, between L’Anse and Baraga is the towering statue of a man who could become a saint.

Frederic Baraga, Michigan’s famous “Snowshoe Priest,” traveled the Great Lakes region in the 1800s spreading the Gospel. He later became the first bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Marquette. Today efforts are underway to determine if his many works make him worthy of sainthood.

The process could take years. But religious pilgrims and curious tourists already flock to the priest’s statue, his final resting place and to other Baraga sites.

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Michigan ‘religious freedom’ act concerns business leaders


Capital News Service

LANSING — Business leaders in Michigan are wary of proposed legislation that could lead to discrimination against those in the LGBT community.

The passage of a similar Religious Freedom Restoration Act in Indiana resulted in a backlash not only from gay and lesbian activist groups, but also business and even some religious leaders.

“Economically, it would not be good for Michigan,” said Jennifer Kluge, CEO of the Michigan Business and Professional Association. “It won’t be good for anybody if the economy goes in a negative direction after all the work our legislature and governor have done to move it forward.”
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Private colleges seek racial, not religious diversity


Capital News Service

LANSING – Some of Michigan’s private colleges are pushing for more racial and ethnic diversity, but not actively seeking more religious diversity.

Colleges like Hope, Calvin, University of Detroit Mercy, Albion, Cornerstone and Concordia that are affiliated with denominations of Christianity are reaching out to minorities in recruitment. Yet, religious diversity is not a goal.

Hope College professor of religion Barry Bandstra said, “We do promote racial and ethnic diversity. And we are naturally somewhat diverse religiously, though not as much as some students and faculty would like.”
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Hate crime numbers jump, most based on race, religion, sexual orientation


Capital News Service

LANSING – Last November in Bay City, Delane Bell shouted “Osama bin Laden” and “jihad” at two men of Indian descent outside a bar, punched one of them and struck their car.

Bell was convicted of ethnic intimidation.

It was only one among a growing number of recent hate crime cases reported in the state.

According to the State Police, 403 hate crimes incidents were reported last year, an 8 percent increase compared with 2010.

Credit: State Police 2011 Michigan Incident Crime Report

Those incidents involved 487 victims. Most were assaults, intimidation, stalking and property damage.
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